Kenyan Wrestlers Set for Olympic Youth Qualifiers in Cairo, Egypt Next Week

WRESTLING trio of Gilbert Mbevono, Dan Aura and Mahabila Matonya leave the country this Friday for Alexandria, Egypt for the Africa Youth Olympics qualifiers set for May 19 to 23.

Mbevono, who trains at Naivasha Maximum Prisons will compete in 50kg Graco Roman category while Aura will wrestle in 100kg freestyle category.

Mahabila will fight it out in 63kg freestyle. Aura and Mahabila train at Prison Service Training College, Ruiru.

Kenya Amateur Wrestling Association (KAWA) treasurer, Antony Kariuki is optimistic the team will do well. Kariuki said the cadets have been training hard under the watchful eye of national coach Eric Walucho, who is a former national team player.

He said the Kenyan team is keen to make up for the dismal performance in the first edition.

He said the boys are using the event to qualify for Youth Olympics in Najing, China later this year. “The government has been supportive and has fully funded the squad to Egypt. We are grateful for the support and we intend to reciprocate by recording better results,”

Kariuki, however, observed that the sport is not as popular as other disciplines in the country thus limiting their participation in International events.

He was, however, quick to add that, the sport is slowly but surely picking up. “Other sporting disciplines have for a while enjoyed our share of the limelight but we are on our way to reclaim our share of the cake,” he noted.

He said the fact that Africa Youth Games hosts Botswana did not have wrestling facilities has denied Kenya an opportunity to compete in the 10-day event starting next week

Source : The Star